DEFINITION of 'B1/B+'

B1/B+ is one of several non-investment grade ratings (also known as "junk") that may be assigned to a company, fixed-income security or floating-rate loan. This rating signifies that the issuer is relatively risky, with a higher than average chance of default.

BREAKING DOWN 'B1/B+'

The ratings assigned by the various ratings agencies are based primarily upon the issuer's creditworthiness. This rating can, therefore, be interpreted as a direct measure of the probability of default. Ratings generally fall into two categories: investment grade and non-investment grade. Bonds that receive a non-investment grade rating are also known as "junk bonds."

Credit ratings are issued primarily by three ratings agencies: Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch. Moody's uses a combination of uppercase letters and numbers while S&P and Fitch used uppercase letters and plus and minus signs. For example, a B1 rating in the Moody's system is equal to a B+ in the S&P/Fitch system.

Ratings are assigned to bonds, floating-rate loans and to companies as a whole. Long-term ratings, as well as short-term ratings, are issued. Short-term ratings follow a different taxonomy.

Long-term investment-grade ratings run from Aaa (Moody's) and AAA (S&P/Fitch), indicating the most creditworthy bonds/loans or companies, to Baa3 (Moody's) and BBB- (S&P/Fitch). Non-investment grade ratings run from Ba1 (Moody's) and BB+ (S&P/Fitch) to C in the Moody's system, indicating the lowest rating above default. The lowest rating in the S&P/Fitch system is D for default.

Credit ratings are also issued on government debt and follow the same system used for rating corporations.

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